The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first charitable partnership was with Jose Andres and World Central Kitchen. I’ve actually lost count of how much Sussex has donated and how much it has funded crisis-center kitchens, but that’s a lot. When Russian forces invaded Ukraine, World Central Kitchen fell to the ground within a day, opening a food center in Kiev to feed Ukrainian refugees and help internally displaced people fighting for their lives and their country. Jos Andres has a long new interview with People magazine about the work WCK is doing on the ground, and he also says amazing things about Sussex:
Andres contributes to Sussex: “It’s a blessing,” said Jose Andres, a 52-year-old chef who founded World Central Kitchen, dedicated to feeding a nonprofit community that has been negatively affected by the humanitarian crisis that partnered with the Harry and Megan Archwell Foundation in December 2020. “I love them. I have been able to spend time with them, work with them and they are very hands-on and very knowledgeable about what is happening in the world, what the problems are and the needs. It’s a pleasure to call them friends. What we’re missing out on is why we’re still hungry. Are we missing out?
WCK was on the ground at the Ukrainian border within 12 hours: “We are an organization that goes and works. We opened the first kitchen in 12 hours. We started in Poland and then went to Lviv and Kiev. Mostly hot food, but sandwiches also play a vital role in all of our operations, “said Andres, who has delivered an incredible 5.25 million pounds of food to Eastern Europe by air, rail and road. “They taste great, are high in calories, easy to carry and are loved by children. These are also good for the elderly, as they sometimes have problems with certain dietary restrictions. They can be ham or turkey or vegetarian because there are different kinds of people and we try to cover everything. And we make them very moist, especially for the elderly. “
Russians are targeting civilians: “We’re moving fast,” Andres explained of their security arrangements. “One of our men was delivering in Kharkiv at the train station and he was hit by a missile 100 meters away from where he was. I was also in Lviv driving with my daughter and about an hour later, we were hit by a missile in the exact same place. At the end of the day the boys and I, we are alone in front. No one will come and rescue us. But the decision is ours. “It’s a bit dangerous, especially in the occupied territories of Russia, so you have to be very careful with that.”
He has a long way to go: Andres and his team are committed to helping Ukraine as long as it takes. “For us, it’s not 100 meters, it’s a marathon,” he told People For this, he is extremely grateful for the support of all the staff, volunteers and supporters of his organization, including Harry and Megan. “It was very refreshing when I first met them,” Andres continued about the couple. “They contacted me and said, ‘We want to partner with you.’ For me, it’s amazing. They are very good people. Let me do it this way. They are always there when we need them. “
I’m including some videos of Jose on Ukrainian soil, all of which made me cry. He told people to take more food than they need for their families, neighbors. He tells them he will be back tomorrow. He holds them when they cry. It’s incredibly moving. Bless all the chefs working on the ground to make sure people get food in this battle. And bless all the people, including Sussex, who are making sure that World Central Kitchen has the funds to close it.
Photo and video courtesy of Jose IG.